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Money Tip: A Cheaper Way to Clean Your Home

Many of you are turning over a new money-saving leaf in 2009, so why not begin your money makeover with the things under your sink? You might already have some of the products that can be used as various cleaners, and what you don't have can be purchased for little money. Mixing your own household cleaners is cheaper than buying name-brand products, and in its February issue Consumer Reports has made an easy to follow list for which products can be used for different areas of your home.

  • Ammonia: "Add one pint of rubbing alcohol to one half cup soapy ammonia, then add enough water to make a gallon. Pour into spray bottles, use to clean glass."
  • Baking soda: "Use it to remove stains from tile, glass, and china; clean inside the fridge; remove baked-on food from pots and pans."
  • Borax: "A freshener and deodorizer in laundry."

See four more cheaper household cleaner solutions when you


  • Castile soap: "Made from vegetable oil. For general use on counter-tops and other surfaces."
  • Cream of tartar: "A mild acid that can lift stains from sinks and tubs, and remove spots from aluminum cookware."
  • Lemon juice: "Lightens stains and removes tarnish from brass, copper, bronze, and aluminum."
  • White vinegar: "Helps kill germs; removes some carpet stains; cleans coffeemakers and chrome. To clean wood floors, use one cup of vinegar per pail of hot water."

Have you ever used these products to clean your home?


myhousemd myhousemd 6 years
My nose is so sensitive to chemical cleaners, and I use them all day working at a bed and breakfast. When I'm home, I like to use baking soda and vinegar to clean. It gives my respiratory system a break!
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I usually use baking soda as a carpet deodorizer. I also use it along with vinegar to declog my drains. Natural itrus oils are good for deodorizing and cleaning as well
lauren lauren 8 years
Thanks for the tips!
gbychan gbychan 8 years
Vinegar is also a natural weed killer. When I was little, my mom used it to get rid of those annoying little plants that grew through the cracks in the driveway.
4evrfuzzy 4evrfuzzy 8 years
the only thing you need to clean glass (windows, whatever) is t-shirt towels. I never throw away old ratty t-shirts, instead i tear them up into rags. to clean a mirror or window just take a clean wet sponge, wet down the area and polish with the t-shirt towel. There is absolutely no need to use anything but water, trust me i've had to prove this to many skeptics. I couldn't live w/o my t-shirt towels!
azuresugar azuresugar 8 years
For any essential oil users out there: a number of them have cleaning properties on top of smelling good... eucalyptus, lavender etc. I add a couple drops of lemon essential oil to a borax paste (just add enough water) and use it on my fiberglass tub. I add eucalyptus to water and use it for an all purpose cleaner. There are some great books out there for using common household items that are green and effective.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I use baking soda for a lot of things...carpet freshener, catbox freshener, sink cleaner, pot/pan scrubber, fridge deodorizer, drain unclogger, etc. It's so cheap, you can't go wrong. I also use vinegar to clean my coffeemaker (just be sure to run a pot of plain water through it afterwards to make sure you don't get vinegary coffee). And if you use Borax in your washer, you don't have to use as much detergent.
CurvatudeBlog CurvatudeBlog 8 years
i bought a huge 5 gallon jug of vinegar last week because i want to clean without killing myself and the environment any more than i already have
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Baking soda is awesome and about .40 for a box.
verily verily 8 years
I don't keep ammonia in my house. But I have used lemon and baking soda on stuff to deodorize things and scrub burnt food buildup off the bottom of my pots.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I use a little bit of vinegar in my rinse water when washing anything made of glass (I don't have a dishwasher). The vinegar makes the glassware have a little bit of shine and doesn't let the water spot up the glassware. Also, after heavy rain or days of rain, my kitchen sink will get a funny smell. I either use baking soda and vinegar or lemon juice down the drain. It does wonders!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
these are some great ideas. my mom told me about the uses for baking soda when i was on my own, and it really does help when you're cleaning. i think that it's also a great thing for the environment if we're able to use products that we have in our house to make more conscious cleaning products. the chemicals in some of the ones that are out there aren't the best for the air.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Yeah, I only use vinegar and baking soda to clean! I did make my own carpet freshener last weekend that worked out perfect! (equal amounts of corn starch, baking soda, and rosemary/lavender)
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Great ideas. I already use baking soda and white vinegar - they do great jobs!
KMattes KMattes 8 years
Yes, especially vinegar and baking soda!
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